Outside of the US, Kawasaki sells a matte black, UJM-style version of its highly anticipated W800: the Kawasaki W800 Street. I may be biased here, but I think it’s awesome, carrying all the swagger and twin-cylinder throb of the 1965 original. Except you know, in black finish. None of which matters of course, since Kawasaki doesn’t have plans to sell the bike in the US… or do they?
Ride Apart is reporting that recently released paperwork from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) suggests the more laid back W800 Street is coming to the US sometime in 2019. “Obviously,” they write, “someone over at Kawasaki Motors must have noticed how much profit there was to be made by selling the same basic bike in multiple flavors and styles.”
If I sound excited, well – I am! When I first saw pictures of the new-for 2019 Kawasaki W800 Cafe model, I knew that Kawi had me hooked. I named it my cruiser of the year without ever riding it, and wrote that, “bikes like this are chosen primarily for the way they look and feel. More precisely, they’re chosen for the way they make their riders look and feel – and you’d have to be a really soulless, thankless, and witless bastard of a human being to not feel a bit like a Steve McQueen or Paul Newman character come to life on a bike that looks as good as this Kawasaki.”
So, yeah. I’ll be watching the order screens closely and let you know as soon as I get one, I guess. In the meantime, check out a laundry list of W800 features and benefits below, then let us know what you think of the upcoming Kawasaki W800 Street in the comments section at the bottom of the page.
2019 Kawasaki W800 Street Total Motorcycle Features and Benefits
Long-stroke 773cc engine is tuned for low-mid range performance and delivers plenty of torquey power.
360-degree crankshaft provides a signature engine pulse.
Balancer shaft helps dampen vibration.
Heavy flywheel contributes to the engine’s strong torque feel.
Iconic bevel gear driven single overhead camshaft activates four valves per cylinder. A silver bevel gear cover on the blacked-out engine adds to the classic looks.
Long, slim intake funnels enhance low-mid range performance.
Digital Fuel Injection (DFI®)
Fuel injection offers precise fuel metering, clean emissions and easy starting.
34mm throttle bodies are arranged to provide incoming air a straight path from the airbox to the cylinders. Sub-throttles are used to ensure ideal engine response as well as reduce noise.
Crafted Exhaust Note
Traditional mufflers emit the throaty exhaust note for which parallel twin engines are famous.
The twin mufflers were carefully tuned to bring out the characteristic note of the engine’s 360º crankshaft configuration, creating a hearty roar to complement every twist of the throttle.
The simple, elegant muffler design utilizes smooth curves and long, straight lines. Peashooter-style mufflers with slim chambers and long tailpipes contribute to the classic look.
Muffler internals (chamber arrangement, diameter/length of baffle pipe and trans-chamber pipe, and large honeycomb catalyser) were designed to deliver mid-high range performance while contributing to strict modern exhaust and noise emissions regulations.
Assist & Slipper Clutch
The assist and slipper clutch(KP) is compact and it’s operating plates help reduce lever pull for an extremely light feel at the lever. A wide engagement range helps make it easier to control.
Using the rotational forces of the clutch hub and pressure plate, the clutch is forced together during acceleration (assist function) so that fewer and lighter clutch springs can be used for a lighter feel at the lever. During high back torque, such as when too low of gear is selected during downshifting, the slipper function allows some clutch slippage to help prevent rear wheel hop and stalling due to engine lock-up.
Double Cradle Frame
Double-cradle frame uses a sturdy, 50mm square-section backbone to give the W800 motorcycle a stable ride quality and well-balanced overall design.
Complementing the 50mm square-section backbone, round pipe downtubes contribute to the classic look. Gussets and brackets were kept to a minimum for improved aesthetics and reduced weight.
Round tubes with a smooth finish and minimum welds and gussets contribute to the quality appearance.
Kawasaki advanced dynamic analysis used to determine the exact required rigidity for each piece of tubing to ensure optimized performance with minimal weight.
A 41mm front fork with stiff springs, rigid lower triple-clamp, stiff swingarm and stiff rear shocks complement the rigid frame.
Rubber fork boots help protect the fork tubes and fork seals while adding to the retro appearance.
Dual rear shocks with adjustable spring preload add to the retro look.
Large-diameter 320mm front disc paired with a 270mm rear disc provide excellent response and strong stopping power.
ABS assists braking under certain conditions for added rider confidence.
Front and rear 18-inch spoke wheels contribute to sporty handling while maintaining the vintage ride feel of a true classic machine.
Aluminum rims are corrosion resistant, while the spokes and spoke nipples are treated with a coating that helps shed dirt and grime when cleaning.
Tube-type bias ply tires have a traditional tread pattern and high grip.
Relaxed, vintage-style riding position.
M-shaped clubman-style handlebar contributes to a sporty, forward lean.
Five-way adjustable clutch lever and four-way adjustable brake lever enable riders to fine-tune lever position.
Stylish two-person Street seat designed for comfort and sporty good looks.
Compact swithgear is designed to add a vintage tough and gives the handlebars a light, uncluttered appearance. Underneath the retrostyled exterior are modern internals for reliable performance.
Traditional instrumentation includes individual speedometer and tachometer with classic display.
A multi-function LCD screen incorporates an odometer, tripmeter, and clock. A full range of indicator lamps includes an FI warning lamp, dual turn signal indicators, low fuel level indicator, high beam indicator, neutral indicator, and oil pressure warning lamp.
Large 170mm LED headlamp casts a bright, white light for great nighttime visibility.
Features six chambers – four for low-beam and two more for highbeam. Position lamps in the high-beam chambers ensure the whole lamp appears lit, like a retro-style bulb headlamp.
Convex lens and chromed headlamp ring add to the high-quality, classic design.